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Malware – Protection, Removal Tool, Scanner & Free Anti Malware

About : Any type of malicious software, is known as malware, it is a harmful software that brings harm to any computer system. Malware is found in various forms like worms, viruses, trojans, spyware, adware and rootkits, etc., which steal protected data, delete documents or add software not approved by a user.
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What is a Malware?

Malware is the shortened form for any malicious (or malevolent) software, software which are designed and used by cyber attackers, and their main aim is to interrupt computer operational functionality, it also aims to gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. It is found in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software. 'Malware' is the primary term used to refer to a variety of forms of harmful or nasty software. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, keyloggers, dialers, spyware, ransomware, adware, rootkits, malicious BHOs and other malicious programs; all the major active malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses. 

    1. Virus 
    2. Spyware 
    3. Adware
    4. Worm
    5. Trojan Horse                  



History of malware?

History of malware can be divided into different phases and categories that will also represent timeframe its events happened. So, we will split the history of malware into 5 categories: -

  1. The first phase of the malware when it came into existence.
  2. The second phase is the Windows phase. It was described as the first windows malware when the first mail worms and macro worm became active.
  3. The third phase is the evolution of the malware as a network worms. These threats become popular when the internet becomes widespread.
  4. The fourth part is rootkits and ransomware. This is the most damaging era as the malware appeared in this era. This malware that was created to damage virtual effects and sabotage. They were specially designed for some of the secret services of some countries.
  5. This is the last phase of malware evolution that we are now facing. In 1986 appeared the first malware for PC. It was a virus called Brain.A.  Brain. A was designed in Pakistan, by two brothers - Basit and Amjad. They wanted to prove that PC is not a secure platform, so they created the virus that was copying using floppy disks. It infected booting sectors of floppy drive as well as of every inserted floppy disk. So anytime infected floppy would be inserted into PC, it would infect its drive, so the drive would have infected again every disk inserted.

Malware in the 1990's

In 1986, most of these viruses were discovered in universities and which were primarily infected in the form of floppy disks. Among them were some which were quite notable malware like Brain (1986), Lehigh, Stoned, Jerusalem (1987), the Morris worm (1988), and Michelangelo (1991).

In the 90s, all the major businesses were impacted, which was a large part of the impact of the macro viruses, which meant that the propagation had started to work through network infection. Strong malware appeared in this period like DMV, the first conceptual proof of macro virus was discovered in 1994. A Cap.A was also seen in 1997, which turned out to be the first threatening macro virus, and CIH (aka Chernobyl) in 1998, as it was the first virus to damage hardware and the viruses started infecting and impacting home users as well, with the help of email. In 1999 included Melissa, the first widespread email worm appeared

21st Century Malware

At the beginning of the new millennium, internet and email infections were making headlines across the globe. For example, in May 2000: Loveletter was the first high-profile profit-making malware

In 2001: The Sircam, Anna Kournikova, The Magistr, The CodeRed wormNimda all these infection effects the world through emails and network.

As the decade proceeded, malware becomes a largely profit-making tool and the method used to make this profit was through numerous popups and advertisement. Friend Greetings another virus showed how malware could get into manually and sneakily installing spam proxies on victim's computers. Phishing and credit card scams post stealing the entered information on the computer also surfaced in this period, with famous internet worms named Blaster and Slammer. Another phase showed the email infection war broke out between the creator of MyDoom, Bagle, and Netsky. This internal war leads to tainting the email scanning and greater exposure to email filtering, which nearly brought the massive damage of spreading email worms. Such cyber scams were an ongoing profit-making criminal activity launched through the internet. 

malware 2

Countries which were most infected with Malware?

Although most of the countries are affected by the attack of malware globally because most of us are in one way or the other connected to the internet, which is the major source of these cyber-attacks. But the top 10 countries which are most attack are -USA, China, Ukraine, Netherlands, Japan, Russian Federation, India, Germany, UK, France etc.

Types of Malware-

Virus - A computer virus, is much like a human flu virus, which is capable of continually duplicating with little or no user intervention and there is no human control on it. The computer virus is a type of malicious code or program which is written to alter the way a computer works and that is designed to spread from one computer to another.  A virus can hamper the computer operations by multiplying itself to fill up disk space or random access memory space, secretly infecting your computer. Often viruses are disguised as games, images, email attachments, website URLs, shared files or links or files in instant messages.

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Spyware - Spyware can be described as a  computer program that does exactly what its name implies-i.e., it spies on you. After it gets downloaded itself onto your computer either through spam email you opened, any infected website that the user visited or a program user downloaded, spyware scans and records your hard drive data for personal information and your internet browsing habits. Spyware programs have keyloggers whose intention is to record your personal data that you enter in website's forms, for example, your login usernames and passwords or email addresses or browsing history, your computer's hardware as well as software configurations, your name, age and sex, and also sensitive banking and credit information. Spyware also influences with your computer's system settings, which can result in a slower internet connection.

Trojan malware

Adware - As the name suggests aid supported software, which is used when referencing any type of program or software which is downloaded or displays unwanted banner advertisements in the software being used. Adware comes bundled with any new software a computer owner purchases. -Adware is designed as a software that, post infecting your computer, it tracks your internet browsing history and habits and sends out popups which contain advertisements the sites and topics you've visited. While this type of software may look helpful but they can occupy a lot of screen space and slows down your computer's processor and internet connection speed. Furthermore, some adware has keyloggers and spyware inbuilt into its predefined program, which is more harmful to your computer and possible digital invasion of your private data.

adware malware

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Worm - The worm is another type of virus that works through your computer by creating duplicates of files on other drives, systems, and networks. One unique feature of the worms is very harmful and dangerous which is that they can send duplicates of themselves to other computers across a network via email, an infected webpage, and instant messages.

Trojan horse (Trojan) - A Trojan horse is a hidden virus which is designed to pretend to have or is faking to have, a set of useful or desirable codes and features but actually contains infectious and damaging code. The most common method the computer user receives Trojan horses is through emails, infected web pages, instant messages or downloading services like games, movies, and apps. True Trojan horses are not technically viruses since they do not replicate; however, many viruses and worms use Trojan horse techniques to initially infiltrate a system. Although Trojans are not technically viruses, they can be just as destructive.

Trojan malware

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How would you differentiate between virus, malware, spyware, and rootkit?

Virus is programs or codes that attach themselves to files and programs and keeps working on the computer or the system of the user without their knowledge. Malware is the short form of malicious software, which is an umbrella term that incorporates all kinds of software or programs that can be used to disrupt normal computing capabilities. A virus can attach to certain hosts, files, and programs and then replicate themselves to infect the computer entirely. Malware can also travel via transference of data and files to infect other systems. Attackers can use this software or programs disrupt computing operation, gather sensitive information or access private security systems.

Malware can also travel via transference of data and files to infect other systems. Attackers can use these software's or programs to disrupt computing operation, gather sensitive information or access private security systems.

Spywares are also malicious computer programs that are installed on computers but unlike malware or virus, they don't harm your computer in any way. But more dangerously they attack your computer! Once installed on a system they start working in the background and keep collecting user’s personal data. This data includes your credit card numbers, passwords, important files and much other personal stuff. Spywares can track your keystrokes, scan and read your computer files, snoop IM chats, and emails, etc.

RootKits - a set of software tools that permit an unauthorized user to gain control of a computer system without being detected. RootKits operate at two different levels, depending on which software they are replaced or altering the target system. They could bring in changes to the existing binary executables or libraries on the system. In other words, a RootKit could alter the very programs that users and administrators are running. Few tools in the rootkit are based on the user-preference mode as they can manipulate these user-level operating system elements. Alternatively, a RootKit could go for the toss, or in our case, the centerpiece of the operating system, the kernel itself. We'll call that type of RootKit as a kernel-mode RootKit. First RootKit was made by SONY Entertainment and had quite a little impact on SONY's reputation. SONY BMG RootKit was born in the year 2005, to protect a copyright of their publications. They had an idea to detect and disable copying of their publications using this RootKit to other media. Sony BMG RootKit was the part of 52 great publications of Sony amongst them.

What Can Be Consequences After Ransomware Enters into your PC?

  1. It will record and collect your browsing history, your PC hardware configuration, OS type, and can install malicious products and browsers add-ons too.
  2. Passwords which are stored in the browser as plain text files or .txt files are vulnerable to getting hacked by some hackers or cybercriminals, sides losing their control over social media profiles and online banking credentials.
  3. This can Illegally or without the knowledge of the user gets access to the infected PC and upload information taken from it.
  4. Infects your internet connection and in turn making it work slow.
  5. Send back confirmed the report to its publisher about new infection infiltrated into PC.
  6. Locates the location of the infected computer system.
  7. Sends instructions to the cybercriminals and work as per their wishes like crashing or corrupting any software/hardware utilities.
  8. Never download files or software from unknown sources, including from your email or the web.
  9. Scan all types of new files with virus-scanning software before opening.
  10. Never download any attachment (e.g., pictures, games, electronic greetings) unless it's from someone you know.
  11. As a safety measure always starts by running anti-spyware software on a regular timing, to catch any programs of software that may have infected your computer. After the software removes the spyware it finds, restart your computer and scan it again to make sure all spyware was deleted. Some spyware programs are very difficult to be removed from your system, so it might take more than one try.
  12. Be careful while downloading free or peer-to-peer files, especially music files and media sharing programs. Read the licensing agreements to understand exactly what you're downloading. Many popular and famous applications include spyware components, and some applications won't work without those components.
  13. Protect your computer or system with a firewall, especially if you use a broadband internet connection.
  14. Use a trusted internet provider.
  15. Download best and free antivirus software to catch viruses, worms, and Trojan horses before they can do any damage.
  16. Never download any programs from websites you don't trust.
  17. Adjust your browser's security settings to provide at least a medium level of security. An outdated setting makes it easier for malware to access your computer.

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Uninstalling unwanted or suspicious programs from the control panel.

Now, we would start the cleaning procedure by going through the list of all the installed programs and always look for the programs that the user doesn't need or recognize or looks suspicious and uninstall them. As doing this could help us to get rid of all the adware, as mentioned earlier adware and browser hijackers come bundled with the freeware programs. Removing these can help us get rid of those annoying ads and browser redirect.

Steps to be followed in all version of windows:

  1. Press the windows key on the keyboard or windows button on the screen, then type “control panel” and press enter or run it using the mouse.
  2. Now, press “uninstall a program” below the icon named programs
  3. You will now see the list of programs running or installed on your computer, scroll through the list and look for programs which you do not recognize and get rid of them, while uninstalling them it could give you a warning saying “making these changes would affect the system files,” ignore this warning as we need to get rid of this program.

 How to reset all the infected browsers?

Now, we have to go back to the home screen which is our desktop and right click on the web browser. Now you would see few option which is our properties window. Select the tab which says “Shortcut”, in there the very first editable space is “Target”. If you see something like “……exe http://site.address” then you need to erase the complete address that says “http….” And leave only the things mentioned below for the respective web browsers

  1. Google chrome: chrome.exe
  2. Opera: opera.exe
  3. Firefox: firefox.exe
  4. Internet Explorer: iexplore.exe


Once these steps are completed click on okay and do the same thing for all the browsers that redirect you to such annoying ads or the Malware website.

Reset Mozilla Firefox to remove Malware:

Till now we have changed the redirect website shortcut now we will reset every browser to its own settings.

  1. Run Mozilla Firefox, have a look at the top right corner in the browser you will come across a button which has three horizontal strips. Once you click on it, you would see few options in the drop-down menu. Next, click the help button.
  2. Now, in the help menu press the “troubleshooting information”. Hit the “Refresh Firefox” button.
  3. Mozilla Firefox is all set to work with the default settings now. Close it once restarts the computer and you can start using Firefox again.

Reset Google Chrome to remove Malware:

Now, if your primary browser is Google Chrome lets proceed towards resetting it, which would again do the same it would reset the default search engine and default home page getting rid of the browser hijacker Malware.

  1. Run Google Chrome, have a look at the top right corner in the browser you will come across a button which has three horizontal dots, which will give you a drop-down, in that you have to hit “settings” or if you type “chrome://settings” in the address bar it would directly open the settings. You can follow any procedure whichever suits you the best.
  2. Now, we are looking at the settings of google chrome, scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit “advanced settings”.
  3. Now, you need to go down the page until you see “reset settings” section, soon after you click on reset chrome would go back to the real shape.

Reset Internet Explorer to remove Malware:

Like other browsers, we will also have to reset internet explorer though it is an inbuilt web browser doing so would get us back to the default settings i.e. search engine, home page, new tab.

  1. First, you have to open internet explorer, then look for a gear-like icon at the top right corner, once you click on that it will give you few options in which the user needs to select the option which says “internet options”.
  2. In this window where it says “internet options”, go to the advanced tab, then click on “reset” button at the bottom right of this box and then when you see the next screen on that select the checkbox where it says “Delete personal settings” and then hit the reset button.

Install Ad Blocker to prevent the redirect to Malicious website

The importance of installing an ad blocker is that ads these days are designed not just to display ads at the same time they can also redirect the web browser to websites which could be infected with other malicious programs.

Enabling ad-blocker would not just block the redirect to the Malware website but at the same time, it would also prevent the redirect to such websites improve the browsing speed as it won’t allow any ads to be displayed in the browser.

  1. Download Ad-Blocker or Ad-Blocker pro from the following link.
  2. Once you have completely downloaded the file. You just have to install and run it.
  3. It would give you a prompt to enable it just click on yes or enable.
  4. Now, ad blocker will activate on its own every time you run the browser and will block all the ads and save a lot of your as you won’t be seeing any ads or any kind of surveys from now on.

How does Malware infect your system?

The malware will evade the firewall of the system without being noticed by the usual security program. As it uses complex codes in its programming that makes it possible for it to bypass the firewall without being detected.Among all the malware, ransomware is a profitable criminal business, and its success lies in the way it functions. This whole ransomware process works by scaring victims by involving law enforcement agencies and making threats of punishment and imprisonment. To make their attack seem authentic, the ransomware authors use law enforcement logos and geo-specific services to determine the location of the computer or system using "command and control (C&C)" servers. Command and Control servers are centralized servers used by cybercriminals to control infected machines remotely by sending commands & receiving outputs (data) from the machines. When certain types of ransomware strike your computer, it determines which country you are in and sends the data to the C&C server. The server responds with images to be used to lock screens. These images always include text written in the local language and logos from local law enforcement agencies.

Some of the most common ways malware is distributed:

  1. Bundling: It comes bundled with the free application hosted from an unreliable site. When the user installs those free software, then this infection also gets installed automatically. 
  2. Malicious websites and links: It can get attached with on your PC if you frequently visit the unsafe site like Porn sites or betting sites which contain illegal stuff. Also, the user should also avoid clicking on misleading ads and random links which redirects the victim to social media site.
  3. Installing and downloading-It even get inside your system along with the installation of any new software applications which the user does without entirely reading license agreements or reading without terms and condition. Most of these cases are sharing files like music, photos and much more in the networking environment, visiting various adult websites are also liable for the insertion of this threat inside the Pc.
  4. Spam emails: This browser hijacker gets into your computer through malicious email attachments in the spam emails tab. Malicious infected attachments and download links in an unknown email.
  5. Shared service-Through torrent-trackers and by sharing resources in the form of any file or folder.  

Tips to prevent the malware from infecting your system:

  1. Regular Backup: Regular and periodical backup helps you to keep your data safe in case the system is infected by any kind of virus or any other infection. Thus always backup important files regularly on a cloud drive or an external hard drive.
  2. Be careful before clicking anything: Do not open email attachments that you do not recognize or looks suspicious.  If you get an email from an origination that is urging you to get into to open an attachment or to acknowledge receiving money or conformation a gift or parcel, ignore such email because it may be an attempt to get you to install lousy software and chance to get the malware into your computer.
  3. Don’t pay: The malware which has infiltered your computer will most likely leave you as a victim of a ransomware attack, do not be frightened and don’t panic and, more importantly, please don’t fall in the trap and pay. Even though you might make a payment, there is no surety that your computer’s functionality or its data will be restored. Best advice is to contact your local cyber law enforcement agency and track down the cybercriminal.
  4. Log out of all the websites Personally take responsibility to log out of all the sites you have surfed the banking and social networking websites. You could be leaving all your data vulnerable if you are using the public network.
  5. Keep your Windows Updated: To avoid such infections, we recommend that you should always keep your system updated through automatic windows update. By doing this you can keep your device free from virus. According to the survey, outdated/older versions of Windows operating system are an easy target.
  6. Third-party installation: Try to avoid freeware download websites as they usually install bundled of software with any installer or stub file.
  7. Always have an Anti-Virus: Precaution is better than cure. We recommend that you install an antivirus like  McAfee or a good  Malware Removal Tool like Download Free Virus Removal Tool
  8. Install a powerful ad- blocker for  ChromeMozilla, and IE.

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